In order for a last will and testament to be valid it must meet strict formal requirements. The person making the will must have the required mental capacity to understand the nature of what they are doing. This is known as Testamentary Capacity. In order for a person to be deemed to have testamentary capacity, they must be sufficiently clear on their own understanding and memory to know in a general way:
This does not mean that anyone with memory issues or a mental disability is unable to make a will. Each case is fact specific and evidence from friends, family, physicians and others can be used to challenge or support testamentary capacity.
it must be shown that there was pressure or influence to such a degree so as to deprive the maker of the will of their decision-making autonomy. To put it another way, the influence has to be significant enough to undermine the free choice of the person making the will. Although there are often legitimate concerns surrounding pressure or influence from beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries, claims of undue influence are context specific and complex. Our estate lawyers are experienced in dealing with these difficult cases.
There is also a requirement that the person making the will have knowledge of the contents and approve of the will at the time of execution. The wills lawyers at Carbert Waite LLP are experienced in providing advice and representation on these and all other aspects of wills challenges.
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